Can the Philly Bike Race Be Revived?
Manayunk won’t go down without a fight. Turns out neighborhood leaders love those beer-soaked crowds that show up every year to watch the Philadelphia International Cycling Championship, and aren’t very happy with it being canceled this year. Now they’ve enlisted support from everybody’s favorite Philly fixer, Rep. Bob Brady, in trying to keep the race alive.
Upon hearing the news, Brady stepped in and set up a meeting Friday with race organizers and the Manayunk Development Corporation to see if the race could be salvaged.
“We at MDC greatly appreciate Congressman Brady’s offer of help,” said Jane Lipton, head of the business group.
The race’s organizers say they want to return in 2014, but got caught short of cash this year:
Dave Chauner, one of the race’s original organizers and president of the Pro Cycling Tour, said there was little that could be done to restore the 2013 race, which had been scheduled for June 2.
The for-profit event lost money last year, he said, largely because of the increasing cost of city services, such as police overtime and sanitation. The city has required most events to pay those costs since 2009.
TD Bank also ended a four-year deal as title sponsor in 2012, and Chauner has been unable to find a new lead backer to cover about 60 percent to 70 percent of the race’s $1.2 million to $1.5 million budget.
“We’re five months out now. . . . All of the logistics that are required to put the race on, it’s just impossible,” he said. “If we’re going to bring it back, we’re going to bring it back in a high level of professionalism.”
The race last year brought an estimated 100,000 fans to the Manayunk Wall. Only an estimated 80,000 of them threw up there. [NewsWorks]